“If you go to Atlanta, the first question they ask you is what’s your business?” In Macon, they ask you where you go to church. In Charleston, they ask what’s your grandmother’s maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is “What would you like to drink.”
Drink It and Like It
There are a handful of versions of that quote circulating throughout the American South. You could, really, substitute any of the names and places and probably end up with a version of it that someone would accept as reality. That’s the South we’ve come to know and love. A drink in your hand is almost synonomous with Southern hospitality.
Beer, Wine and Spirits have been a part of Southern culture for just about as long as anyone can remember. It easy to see breweries and distilleries dotting the landscape now, but not too many people consider the history.
The term “Rum Runners” is believed to have come from the series of boats transporting Cuban rums to Florida from the Bahamas during the Prohibition era. The well known origins of American stock car racing can be traced to the hills of North Carolina when locals competed against each other in vehicles built with enough speed to elude police while loaded down with moonshine during that same era.
Those moonshine runners eventually took their need for speed to the Florida coast and created the Daytona 500. The Great American Race.
And, of course, there’s football season in the South. A time of the year when a stroll through a college campus on a particular game day might just dissuade you from lighting a match.
Have we made our point? Booze and the South have always gone hand in hand.
In 2016, the number of breweries in America topped 5,000 for the first time. The number of distilleries likely not far behind as manufacturers try to tap in to the nuances that make products increasingly hyper-local.
Beers? Too many to count. Bourbons, Gins and Rums? Same deal. That says nothing about wine and the wine collections to be found in the South.
Drink It and Like It is an exploration of it all. A road map? Maybe. A random toast of the town, maybe that too. Regardless of what we will find, the goal ultimately, is to Drink It and Like it.